Personnel: Gene Krupa (drums); Eddie Shu (tenor saxophone, harmonica); John Bunch (piano); Nabil Totah (bass).
Recorded live at The New School University, New York, New York on April 17, 1973. Includes liner notes by John McDonough & Hank O'Neal.
Personnel: Gene Krupa (drums); Eddie Shu (harmonica, tenor saxophone); John Bunch (piano).
Audio Remixer: Jon Bates.
Liner Note Author: John McDonough .
Recording information: New School, New York, NY (04/17/1973).
Photographer: John McDonough .
During the last years of his life, Gene Krupa suffered from more than his share of health problems, including leukemia, emphysema, heart disease, and severe back pain. But despite all he went through, the drummer was still able to provide some inspired performances here and there. One of them came on April 17, 1973, when he was joined by tenor saxman Eddie Shu, pianist John Bunch, and bassist Nabil Total at the New School in New York. That performance, recorded only six months before Krupa's death, went unreleased for 26 years but finally saw the light of day when Chiaroscuro put out Live at the New School in 1999. This CD finds Krupa in good form, and the drummer's many health problems don't prevent him from playing with a lot of enthusiasm on swing era classics like "Sing, Sing, Sing," "Don't Be That Way," "Take the A Train," and "Undecided." Unfortunately, the sound quality isn't great -- listenable, certainly, although not very sharp and not great by 1973 standards. But while Live at the New School falls short of essential, it's a valuable and historically important recording just the same -- and it's one that completists and Krupa's diehard fans will be glad to have. ~ Alex Henderson